30 Dec 2012

Offerings of a bird man

Offerings of a bird man. Mixed media 251mm tall


Jock Orr, the Birdman of Cathedral Square in Christchurch New Zealand died in 1988. I was 12. I remember him very well considering my age and the fact I've forgotten so many other things during that time. I remember nobody seemed to like him. He was thought of as very strange and frighting and maybe even dangerous. I remember the first time I saw him being ushered to the opposite side of my mother as we neared. I wonder now whether this is the basis of the opinions of him that have stuck with me. It was never hard to find him in the square. You just looked for a blur of chaotic white and grey billowing with the cries of seagulls and pigeons surrounded by a large gap in the crowd. I remember this as shameful. A stain on the tourist friendly image of my home town. A dirty singularity.
I've always been aware of the birds. They're everywhere. Fleeting in some way but steady in reserve. Mocking with flight. Closer to both reptiles and the heavens and never letting us forget it. I've seen them watching me with weary disregard. I feel the same, just with a healthy dose of jealously.
According to the Christchurch City Council website the remembrance plaque of Jock Orr is on north facing wall of the old Chief Post Office Building in Cathedral Square.







25 Dec 2012

Alex CF


Alex CF

 
If you haven't heard of Mr Alex CF something is very wrong. He's an illustration artist who's work features in many mediums including lot of design work for bands and promotional material. Obviously every artist has a day job and his is none other than the sole curator and custodian of the incredible Merrylin Cryptid Collection.


Infant Draco Alatus


Being one of the only examples of it's kind I can't begin to explain how important the Merrylin Collection is. The work in the cryptozoology field has always been lacking due to the close minded pop science community but thanks to the hard work of Mr Alex CF it is safe to say the world is a better place. 


Homo Vampyrus

 Check out this Video link to learn more about the Merrylin Cryptid Collection.



21 Dec 2012

Mr Adam Jones





Before another year passes and this link becomes even older. I never seem to hear enough about Mr Jones. Here is a lil interview from 2010 on Artist direct.







18 Dec 2012

Blogs and linking to blogs n stuff.

Those of you who know me know my computer and web skills have the finesse of a toddler mashing their soggy bread into a laptop keyboard but I try. I found out how to add links to this page. They are just down the right hand side titled, Links. I know, I toiled with the title for hours. There you'll find many an interesting artists, a couple of artifact and prop builders and a few interesting art blogs I follow. I've added some of these as a point of reference and others because of the quality of the work but all make interesting reading.

Blog'n about blogs and people who write blogs.

The times have been crazy I tell ya. The last month or so has just disappeared but left many a bizarre artifact and document so that in the new year I'll be able to look back and have prof it really did happen. So, the evidence. I got a wee mention on So Super Awesome. I thought that was really lovely. When I hear people mention or tell me they've read my blog my first thought is "Oh God, they know I'm mental now" but I'm really touched for the thought. They are great folk who do very nice work too. I'm hoping to have a wee chat with them asap and getting the low down on how it is for them so I'll give ya the gossip when I get it. Annnnnnnd Handmade Arcade posted some lovely words about the last event. It's all going on in the south!






Exeter is an interesting lil town. We have the mall and various dirty corporate bunkers shooting subliminal messages from their store fronts in the centre of town. Fortunately like so many other cities if your willing to machete through the vines of Christmas shoppers and find yourself in one of the ally ways or even better on Fore St the rewards are endless. Handmade Arcade is on Fore. It's held in McCoys Arcade. The Arcade itself appears as if it's been there forever and houses a few really amazing small businesses but few know. Like every other city with a place like McCoys the businesses in there fight tooth and nail to market themselves on budgets of nothing and no prime time screaming. What the good folk at No Guts, No Glory have done is develop a monthly hand crafted goods market (weekly during December) as a vehicle. The crafters put much work into their goods and go to inspiring lengths to market and display them and build interest. Hayley and Nathan from No Guts, No Glory go to extraordinary lengths to promote the event and get the public down there. I see the surprised faces of the Exeterites as the walk in and all too often I hear them say "I didn't even know this place was here". My first visit to McCoys Arcade was two weeks after I arrived here.

The point is Hayley and Nathan use Handmade Arcade as a way to promote their vision of Exeter. Actually scratch that. They do it because that is the right thing to do. It's a good thing and a way I aspire to. They do it to bring people into the arcade, for us as crafters and stall holders as well as for the other businesses in there and for all of Exeter. They do not because it is easy (hahaha see what I did there?). I know the grief they put up with to put this event on. This kinda thing is never easy for countless reasons but they do it anyway. They'll do it where ever they are. We need to ensure we don't loose places like McCoys arcade to St&%B@*ks or any other homogenized rubbish but more importantly we need to ensure we don't loose people like Hayley and Nathan. We need to ensure people who think outside the box and do what they think about. If your town or city has folk like them tell em before you wish you had.


EDIT: Here is a selection of pic's I've stolen from the Handmade Arcade blogspot for old times sake. Thank you both for the good times.:-)
















13 Dec 2012

Torn

Torn. Clay, 203mm high.



The Rogue

The mentally ill tend to betrayed in popular media in to distinct ways. The first is all too familiar. The likeable but completely inaccessible lunatic. He is a little chubby, slightly afternoon of middle aged with a tidy yet quirky appearance. He franticly works away on a concept or project too far outside our own circles of thinking to be understood but, we can trust he is a true humanitarian at heart. He will save us, how and why we do not know but we like him, because he doesn't care that we laugh at him. The second, again a common suspect is the maniac. He too has a plan but this one may be considered “Master!” He has zero body fat, strangely nondescript but at the same time unattractive. He lives in a tidy apartment in a dilapidated building with attached chaotic secret lair filled to the roof with artefact and design, hell, maybe even a head or two. He hates us. We don't know why but we know if we look him in the eye we will see the devil himself. He will kill us, maybe eat a piece or two but in doing so will believe he is doing the good lords work.

Now wait. Before you think I going to go all politically correct on yo ass then shoot off to check the latest nude celebrity snapshots and night vision home movies like any good internet politician should, please let me tell you. I do not disagree.
In fact both are stereotypes and so by definition must hold some semblance of truth or perception. They are also not souly reserved for fiction and in some cases are traits featured in the lives of many in/famous personalities throughout history.
The interesting thing for me is both of these types share one very important factor. Our respective characters are both seen to believe their own perceptions and at the same time struggle to understand them. This I can tell you is fact. This is how it is.

At a time when my own mental illness was very much in control of my life, I with two friends took a drive to the mall. As we pulled into the car park I noticed a sign. It stated in no uncertain terms I was not welcome on the premisses. As you can imagine this was of great surprise to me.

“Well, I'm in the shit then aren't I!” I muttered.

Both my companions ask what I had said or meant. I shrugged them both off and hesitantly continued on. I've had various episodes similar to this over the years to varying degrees. Occasionally they can be very disturbing (I was once faced with the prospect of performing customer service duties to death himself until he was called away on duty.) but more often than not just very strange. The most difficult thing about these moments is that they once we accept them as tricks of our minds they begin breed distrust within ourselves. We can no longer believe of our own thoughts, ideas and perceptions. This is the rogue mind.
Not only does it distort the way we see others and the world but also forces us to reassess everything we think we know. We become suspicious about the people and places around us and can become distrusting and withdrawn. We may think the beliefs we hold are wrong or have been twisted. It creates confusion and can literately change who we are. It is this rogue mind that destroyers friendships, relationships and most of all positivity.

Many mentally ill people do tend to have a certain je ne sais quoi which can appeal to people from all rungs of life and can bridge huge gaps of interest. It is often the strangest of our friends that we consider the glue of our social groups. These same people can at times be difficult to deal with but when we consider the rogue mind it doesn't seem too surprising nor unreasonable.

3 Dec 2012

The Anglergnome




A few months back I became quite interested in the Anglerfish. I know I'm not the only one. I see them and their likeness in all types of art and pop culture. I'm not really sure what it is about them I like or despise the most. bioluminescence is an amazing thing, a truly remarkable part of nature. On the other hand the idea of the carrot and stick is familiar but at the same time and under close examination perverse. Coercion obviously is not always a bad thing. I am quite glad I no long wear nappies or bite people I'm not getting on with but I also find the slippery, salty corporate lure of the golden arches to be one of the most disturbing things about the state of the world. 


26 Nov 2012

Survival Research Laboratories




I've been a big fan of Survival Research Laboratories since about 1999 when I stumbled across them while I should have been working on my graphics diploma. Back then and for many years previously I'd wanted a droid. I still do but thanks to Mr Pauline and S.R.L. I now realise you can't keep wild animals. Follow the link below to Lioncorn blogspot and a great video of Mr Mark Pauline.
 



15 Nov 2012

Death heads

I started this project last year while living in Nottingham. I was volunteering at a great lil Gallery up there Called the Crocus Gallery (link below) and I hoped this would be my first piece in there. Alas I bit off a bit more than I could chew. I really under estimated how long these babies would take.  The idea is in is to have a series of five heads and five transitional stations depicting different stages of ceremony, science or knowledge in regards to the history of death or burial. To date I have only managed to finish two.



 The first it a replica of an Egyptian mummy. It uses real human hair (thanks ebay) and the skin is just trusty ol air dry clay. 




The second is a sectioned anatomically correct head. This is also just air dry clay on a cast plaster skull. Both are life sized and very heavy. 




The next one is in the works at the moment but is slow going as time is currently similar to hens teeth. I'm hoping to have it knocked early next year and then it's only two more to go.
 If you're in Nottingham pop into the Crocus Gallery. There is always something interesting going on in there and they are a very talented and friendly group.



9 Nov 2012

Left hand and heart of a convicted Witch.


Here is a little prop set I put together from an old wooden box and some odd and ends. Most of the paper props you see in the photos are items I'm collecting for a "From The Mountains Of Madness" set but I think they look good combined here.



 It seems the most famous Witch trials in England were the Pendle witches of 1612. The twelve women lived in the Pendle Hill area in Lancashire and were charged with the murders of ten people by the use of witchcraft. All but two were tried at Lancaster Assizes on 18th and 19th August and subsequently executed.



Witches hands were often kept as trophies and good luck charms. Of course eventually "good taste" prevailed and keeping (witches) human hands on the mantle became thought of a little crass. The good god fearing folk then, with little choice, turned their blades to the only other possible accomplice to 17th century evil. The rabbit and his lucky foot.




Here's the finished product and the next one is the base of the box. I added another faux museum label and a random worn serial/item number sticker to hint at a bit of trading history.
I'm pretty happy with how this turned out and have a few more mythos style projects in the works including a Lovecraft inspired one I'm really excited about.





7 Nov 2012

Christmas rush



I haven't posted anything for ages as I felt this blog was becoming a little more serous than I had first intended. So this is the beginning of a lighter approach to what I've been up to. These are a few skulls I've case in for a weekly market that's is going to be happening in the run up to Christmas. They are cast in crystal r plaster and painted with a mix of acrylic and enamel paint in various styles. I also have a few taxidermy Faries, Necromancer fountain pens made from chicken bones and a few other odds and ends. The market is run by a very hard working a very nice local couple in conjunction with their own business No Guts No Glory (check out their shop at the link below). It's a great day out and always very interesting with new sellers and hand made products every time. Pop down and say Hi if your in Exeter.  Those of you with keen eyes may notice a lil something in the background too;-)
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn!


http://www.ngngdesign.com/

17 Jul 2012

The Spares





Michael Marshall Smith is a British Novelist writing science fiction horror and modern fiction under the name Michael Marshall. I read his second book “The Spares” first published in 1996 after it was recommended to a friend of mine sometime around 1998. As well as having some of the most powerful imagery I'd read in a long time it was also sympathetic to many of the ideas I hold concerning the multi layering and over lapping of universes and the tendancy for human beings to play accross these realms. I have to date read all of Smiths novels and own an almost complete collection of his first editions. Smith is a cat lover who's eyes reach beyond and within the horizon.


Follow the link below for the short story “This Is Now” by Michael Marshall Smith



18 May 2012

Talks with a Devil

P.D. Ouspensky (1878–1947)


Peter D. Ouspensky was a Russian occultist, esoteric teacher and author known primary for his work in regard to the Gurdjieff system also known as the “fourth way”. His second book “Tertium Organum”, published in 1912 and his fourth “A New Model of the Universe” in 1931 are considered his most important works with "Tertium Organum" still held in high regard in some circles. 
In 1916 his two part study of evolution, human nature and the relationship between humans the spritural world “Talks with a Devil” was published. The book was first released in Russian and then in English with a introduction and editing by J. G. Bennett. I stumbled upon “Talks with a Devil” around 2002 and it made a huge impression on me and continues to affect my work and ideas today.


30 Apr 2012

Duality



Duality. Mixed medium. 207mm x 103mm


It's said emotional duality does not exist and is simply the misinterpretation or misunderstanding of basic emotions. However a state of duality is all to real. The catch 22. This environment is easily the most emotionally challenging and common. For some poor souls murder and suicide can become indivisible. 



19 Apr 2012

David Lynch

   

David Lynch was born on the 20th day of January 1946.



Although primarily a painter, his skills in the field of visual arts extend to sculpture, furniture design and photography.
 


He is a musician, Eagle Scout, weather reporter, cartoonist, writer and bovine fancier.

 


Lynch is a avid coffee drinker with his own brand of true “fair trade” coffee and is an active proponent of Transcendental Meditation.

 


Mr Lynch is in my opinion the single greatest film maker of all time and an artist with many surprises yet to come.



3 Apr 2012

Austin Osman Spare







In 1904 at age 17 Austin Osman Spare had already exposed at the Royal Academy and a year later produced his first book of drawings and writings of a spiritual/magical nature , “Earth Inferno”.

 
 

By 1910 he had become the London art hipsters poster boy, opened at Bruton gallery in London and had been wooed by Aleister Crowley into the ranks of the Argentium Astrum.


Despite his increasing distaste for the art scene Spares career soared until the calculated release of “The Anathema of Zos” in 1927 which was for him a formal exit. From this point until his death in 1956 Spare dedicated his life to his understanding of the occult and magical practice. His work in this field has become the foundation of many practical magical systems including chaos magic.




Spare is now rightfully reconsigned by some as one of the United Kingdoms greatest figure artists not to mention one of the most important occultist of the modern era. A truly lost treasure

20 Mar 2012

Thief of the wings.

Thief of the wings. Mixed media 300mm/250mm. Hanging work.


This is my first post after finding my long lost account and finally spending some time figuring out how to use it, so I thought I start with something almost positive. 
 
We have yet to discover life any where else in the universe but the diversity of creatures we have on Earth never cease to amaze me. I find it comforting that as strange as any number of organisms may seem, we continue to discover new species right under our proverbial noses, which not only redefine the term strange but also our understanding of life. It seems the possibilities are endless as far as biological make up goes and every day we learn more about our planet and ourselves. It seems the lesson here is that there is no one way to "be". Problem is, as humans we still haven't learnt it. 
 
We strive every day to become more and more homogenized and feel peace only once the latest trend or viewpoint has been carefully institutionalized into our lives. This is especially true if we find our wardrobe has become culturally dated or our physical appearance contra to popular taste. I'm we'll known in this part of the world as a true fashionista and as such I am aware how important it is to this great nation that my dress and physique are maintained like a finely tuned machine. I take such pride in this, that in fact I have an account at a local dry cleaners to ensure my giant yellow chicken suit is always ready for the weekend. I realise this attire will soon catch on and I will quietly be proud but all the same I will have already moved on. Not to a new trend but to a new me. I'm not competing, I'm growing.

We will always be required to consider ourselves. Our partners, friends and colleges will always depend on and want us to be our best. But we must also remember to consider ourselves because it is right. It is appropriate, to ensure we are the best us we can be. Although social Our differences are us. All of us.
You may look with envy at others. You could covert a car, job, wardrobe, bank balance. Do so for interest, for analysis and even comparison. Adjust yourself, reassess everything about your person and way. But do these things for yourself, to make you better at being you. Change your ideas and ideology but in doing so keep to your own path. Share it with others. Help them understand you if they ask. Love being you. Even when things turn to shit. Love your cards, play them with pride. It may not be a good day today but that doesn't change who you are. The only reasons humans hate are fear and jealously.